|Nettle dumplings for soup|
Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is another abundant mid-spring green. The flowers on the flower stalks have started blooming, so we won't gather any more of them as they are getting tough. Now it is the triangular leaves near the tops of the flower stalks we can pick in vast quantities and boil as a side dish. I have remarked on how some foragers do not like the triangular leaves or the flower stalks due to bitterness, and we still disagree. Robert and Gillian tend to like bitter things like dandelion and burdock root, but I really do not. I do, however, love the garlic mustard stalks and leaves. I have a hard time even tasting the garlicky properties of the plant, and enjoy the green flavor very much. I suspect that climate, geography, and growing conditions as well as personal taste prevents us all from agreeing on the edibility rating of some plants. Soon after the flowers bloom, in early June, the seed pods will elongate and we'll pick those to eat while they are still green and tender. We really are trying to do our part in preventing the spread of this invasive plant by eating it's reproductive parts.
|Japanese Knotweed, proper size|
for gathering and cooking